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and adhering to it, holding and retaining these tufts of bristles, and, aside from finishing and polishing, the brush is complete.
In the specifications relating to the object and principal features and novel method of making brushes, the patent says:
“The objects of my invention are to cheapen the manufacture and improve the finish of brushes. The principal feature of my invention consists in the method of making brushes having a chambered or recessed frame or back, consisting in making a brush-head within the frame or back by inserting tufts of bristles into heated plastic composition first deposited in the brushframe. * * * My novel method of making brushes is as follows: In making the brush-head, bristles of suitable length are first inserted in the apertures, O, of the bristle-plate, C1, so that they form the tufts or knots, C2, projecting a short distance beyond the plate to the subjacent stop-plate 03, having a raised portion, C4, to support the bristle-plate at the required height. The bristles may be inserted by hand or by mechanism like that shown in United States patent No. 570,604, issued to me November 3, 1896, or in any known manner. After the bristle-plate has been supplied with brisles, a covering-plate, C5, is placed over the tops of the tufts, and the lower projecting ends of the bristles are pushed through the face aperture down into the heated plastic material, D, previously deposited through the aperture in the chambered frame, as seen in Fig. 7. The lower surface of the perforated portion of the bristle-plate is a molding surface, and may be concaved, as indicated by the curved dotted line in Fig. 7, to give a convexed form to the face of the composition pad forming part of the brush-head. When desired, the covering-plate, C5, may have an operating handle, C6. The composition quickly cools and hardens sufficiently to tightly hold the bristle tufts, after which the bristle-plate can be removed from the completed brush; this plate serving to support the projecting bristles in the desired position during the process of cooling and hardening. My improved method of inserting the bristles obviates the necessity and delay of forming a partial bristle-supporting pad on the ends of the bristles projecting from the bristle-plate before inserting the bristles through the face aperture, as heretofore commonly practiced, as I force the exposed and uncovered bristle ends directly into the heated composition first deposited in the chambered frame. By so doing I am able to determine exactly the proper quantity of composition to fill the chamber in the brush-head without having any excess to be forced out of such chamber when the bristles are inserted therein. As heretofore practiced, in order to insure the filling of the chamber in the brush-head, it was necessary to use a slight excess of plastic composition, the surplus being forced out of the chamber when pressure was applied, and frequently leaving evidences of its escape upon the frame and bristles, and detracting from the ornamental and finished appearance of the brush. Should a surplus of composition be used in my improved method, it will be forced out and cleanly cut off by the sharp edges of the metal frame, if made as above described, the metallic surface of the frame permitting no adhesion of the composition thereto, as would be the case with wooden or non-metallic frames.”
The defendant alleges the invalidity of the patent if broadly construed so as to cover the method of defendants' manufacture, and also noninfringement in case the claim is sustained within a limited scope, as it is claimed it should be if sustained at all. The defendant contends that complainant's method of making brushes is confined to the use of a “chambered brush-frame having a contracted aperture”; that is, an aperture in the face of the brush-frame having the edges of that part of the frame surrounding it drawn in somewhat, and overhanging the outer edges or sides of the chamber or recess. The metal brush-back or frame shown in the drawings of the Morrison patent and described in the specifications
specifications shows a brush-back or frame of this kind; that is, one with an aperture so contracted. But
in the specifications Morrison says: “In making brushes by my improved method above described, the brush-back or frame may be made of any desired material and in any known manner.” Does this word “manner” relate solely to the way in which it is made—that is, the process of making it—or to its form when made? It seems to me clear that “manner” refers to its form and shape when completed, and that it is sufficient if the brush-frame has a chamber for containing the composition, with an aperture contracted in any way. Synonyms of "contract” are “lessen,” “shorten,” “narrow, " “diminish,” “abridge,”
“abridge,” “reduce," "draw together.” Hence “contracted” means “lessened,” “narrowed," "diminished,” “abridged,” or "reduced,” as well as “drawn together.” I do not think a proper construction of this patent limits it to the use of a back or frame with an aperture into the chamber contracted in the manner shown and described in the drawings of the patent. But must not this aperture be contracted in some way; that is, made smaller than the surface area of the recess or chamber? The Century Dictionary defines "contracted” thus: “Drawn together or into a smaller or narrower compass; shrunk.” “Abridged,” "reduced,” or “narrowed,” would mean made small as compared with something else. The Standard Dictionary gives to the word “contracted” the meaning “not extensive.” We frequently speak of a room or space in a building as "contracted” because small as originally constructed, having no purpose to indicate that it was once larger. I do not think the words “contracted aperture” should be construed to mean an aperture once larger, and made smaller by some means, natural or mechanical.
It is quite true that a patentee may limit his claims by the language used therein in such a manner and to such a degree as to deprive himself of his real invention; and it is not the province of the court to enlarge or restrict the scope of a patent which by mistakes of the patentee were issued in terms too narrow or too broad to cover the true invention even when the error of the patentee is plainly and conclusively shown. See U. S. Repair, etc., Co. v. Assyrian Asphalt Co., 183 U. S. 601, 22 Sup. Ct. 91, 46 L. Ed. 342, where the court said:
"It is not within the rightful power of the courts to enlarge or restrict the scope of patents which by mistake were issued in terms too narrow or too broad to cover the invention, however manifest the fact and extent of the mistake may be shown to have been."
In such cases the remedy of the patentee is to seek a reissue. But while this is strictly true, courts are not to be overdiligent or overastute in hunting for constructions of a patent, or of its language, or in giving meanings to its words which will defeat it, when a fair construction of the language used and the giving of the ordinary meaning to the words employed—that meaning, if they have two or more, which is consistent with and in aid of the general idea and purpose evidently intended to be expressed by the patentee—will uphold it. Of course the description of the invention claimed must be so clear and exact as to enable one skilled in the art to which the alleged invention relates to make and use it without experiments of his own. Mowry v. Whitney, 14 Wall. 644, 20 L. Ed. 860. But while this is
true, mere changes in form or of the manner of putting together do not avoid infringement if all the means are employed in substantially the same way to produce the same result, or well-known equivalents are substituted. There are cases where, by reason of the express limitations of the claims and in view of the prior art, the patentee is not entitled to the doctrine of equivalents. The main contention of the defendant is that the claim in question calls for the use of “a chambered brush-frame having a contracted aperture," and that, this contracted aperture into the chamber being an essential part of the claim, it must be restricted to that limitation. Also, that as defendant does not use a brush-frame “having a contracted aperture” forming the opening into the chamber or recess in the frame, it does not infringe, as it does not use all the essential elements of complainant's claim. In the patent in suit the aperture in the face of the brush-handle or brush-frame is never necessarily smaller or more contracted than when in its completed state as originally designed and made. The aperture into the recess or chamber may be made by hollowing out the face of the frame, leaving the edges of the frame to somewhat overhang the chamber. When completed the aperture is just as it always was, except as gradually enlarged in the process of making. It is not necessarily made large and then smaller by adding the overhang part, except in the metal construction described. No process of shortening, narrowing, diminishing, abridging, reducing, or drawing it together is necessarily gone through with. It is an aperture not necessarily as extensive or large as it would be if made of the full size or compass in all its parts the largest dimension of the chainber would justify. The defendant uses a brush-back or frame having a chamber with an aperture in its face used for the same purpose as is complainant's, and which, to an extent at least, performs the same function. This recess or chamber in the defendant's brush-frame is “contracted.” It is a contracted chamber in the same sense as is complainant's aperture a contracted one. The interior space of the chamber is contracted-made smaller, not so extensive as it otherwise would be—by leaving in the central bottom part thereof a raised unexcavated portion which contracts, lessens, reduces, and abridges the dimensions of the chamber to a lesser extent than they would be if of the full size or compass its larger outer dimensions would justify. But the aperture or opening into the chamber is not necessarily a contracted one. It is of the full circumference and area of the chamber in its largest dimension. Is it a "contracted aperture” in the same sense the words are used in the Morrison patent? Confusion is apt to arise in considering this patent and its method claim from the fact that in describing the brush in the specifications the patentee has described a sheet metal frame or back made of two sections, which is recessed or chambered, the opening into this recess or chamber being spoken of as the "frame aperture," and has also described a pad forming ring inserted within and surrounding this recess, and soldered to its edges before the composition is placed therein. The patent says:
“I have shown in the drawings one form of construction of chambered brush-back or frame adapted to the manufacture of brushes by my improved method, which construction I will proceed to describe in detail.”
He then describes this one form of construction of a metal brushback or frame, and in so doing says of the recessed apertured handle proper, and of the other section which is inserted and soldered to the main frame:
“The two sections are curved near their peripheral edges, as seen in Figs. 4, 5, and 6, to improve the ornamental effect of the external appearance, and at the same time form inwardly-projecting lips, A3, around the brush-head aperature adapted to hold the head in place. Before depositing in the frame the heated plastic composition which forms the pad of the brush-head, a forming ring, B, concavo-convex in cross-section, as seen in Figs. 4 and 7, is inserted through the brush-head aperture, and secured therein by solder or any known means. The forming ring is made to correspond in form with the brush opening, being just a little larger in diameter, and cut, as at B1, so that, by lapping temporarily the cut ends the ring can be pushed through the opening, after which it is expanded to its normal diameter."
This mode of putting in the forming ring, when used, is made necessary by the curving in of the two metal sections in this particular form of construction near their peripheral edges, as above described. But it must all the time be remembered that this curving in is not an essential of the construction, but ornamental only, while at the same time, when used, serving the useful purpose mentioned. So of the forming ring. That is only used necessarily in the metal construction, the one form only being described. But, after all, in concluding the specifications the patent says, to repeat: "In making brushes by my improved method above described,” and the method is described separately from the brush and brush-frame, “the brush-back or frame may be made of any desired material and in any known manner”; that is, as before stated, in any desired form or of any desired construction.
The most serious objection to the construction of claim 1 of the patent, contended for by complainant, is that in describing the method” the patent says:
“After the bristle-plate has been supplied with bristles, a covering plate, C5, is placed over the tops of the tufts, and the lower projecting ends of the bristles are pushed through the face aperture down into the heated plastic material, D, previously deposited through the aperture in the chambered frame, as seen in Fig. 7."
The patent has before said: "The principal feature of my invention consists in the method of making brushes having a chambered or recessed frame or back,” but nothing is said as to the aperture or its form. Hence arises the inquiry, does not the patent throughout contradistinguish the cavity, recess, or chamber in the front or face of the frame from the opening into it formed by the upper edges of the frame about such cavity, and when speaking of the aperture does not the patent always refer to this opening? The terms "pushed through the face aperture," and then “down into the heated plastic material, D, previously deposited through the aperture in the chambered frame,” are significant. And again, later, is used the words:
"My improved method * * obviates the necessity
* * before inserting the bristles through the face aperture as heretofore commonly practiced, as I force the exposed and uncovered bristle ends directly into the heated composition first deposited in the chambered frame."
This clearly distinguishes the chamber from the aperture or opening into the chamber, and the words “pushed through” seem to indicate a narrowed or lessened opening or aperture into the chamber. But the aperture is spoken of in such instance as the "face aperture.” When we come to the claim the words “contracted aperture” are used. Does this refer to the chamber in which the plastic material is deposited when the brush is complete? Or does it refer simply to the opening into that recess or chamber? “Aperture” is “an opening”; "a hole, orifice, gap, cleft, or chasm; a passage or perforation; any direct way for ingress or egress.” I think the words “contracted aperture” refer explicitly to the opening into or mouth of the chamber in which the plastic material is piaced, and in which it remains when the brush is completed, and that claim 1 refers to a method of making brushes in which this form of brush-back or brush-frame only is used. The complainant contends that the meaning to be given to the word "contracted” as used in claim 1 is "not extensive," so it would read "within a chambered brush-frame having a not extensive aperture”; that is, an aperture into the chamber not extensive. It cannot be more extensive than the face of the brush-frame or more extensive than the upper surface area of the chamber itself, and hence the irresistible inference is that, giving the word “contracted” the meaning contended for, the claim means a chambered brush-frame having an aperture into same not as extensive as the surface of the chamber itself. Else why use the word "contracted” at all? Are we at liberty to reject it as meaningless or of no importance in the working out of the method described? Or was Morrison referring to the prior art where the aperture of a metal plate used in forming the brush-pad was made flaring and broader and wider than the upper surface of the chamber or recess therein, so as to make the removal of the brush-pad therefrom easy? The specifications of the patent speak of the "brush-head,” “brush-head pad” and “head.” Evidently the "brush-head” is the plastic material when hardened, with the tufts of bristles fixed therein. The composition when formed is the pad of the brush-head. The specifications also say, to repeat:
“The two sections are curved, * and at the same time form inwardly projecting lips, A3, around the brush-head aperture, adapted to hold the head in place.”
Evidently, the patentee had in mind the necessity in a metal frame of having something to hold this brush-head when formed and hardened in place within the chamber or recess. These inwardly projecting lips, which in fact contract the aperture into the chamber, do this. Hence the idea of a “contracted aperture," and Morrison may be said to have regarded it as essential in all forms of construction of the brush-back or frame, for he carries the idea into the claim, and provides for a “contracted aperture.” He nowhere suggests a substitute or a reliance upon the adhesion of the plastic composition